How many of you were aware that the today marks World Wide Web Day? And why do we celebrate it? Well, it commemorates the idea that one man had - Sir Tim Berners-Lee, back in 1989, to create a system of interlinked virtual documents that could be accessed over the internet within a browser – and so WWW. was born!
It took a further two years before the world’s first web page was uploaded, and over the following thirty years we can see the huge impact this has made on our day-to-day lives. It changed industries such as retail, publishing, gambling and music, with new business sectors and jobs being created. It changed the way we communicate and allowed the birth of social media where people can publish their opinions instantly.
We have 24-hour access to news and information - 40,000 search queries are processed by Google every second, and of course an abundance of ‘fake’ news and misleading content is also available.
The World Wide Web also led to the rise of a new type of criminal, who rather than walk into a business and commit a robbery, could now attack from the safety of their home. So, although there are massive benefits to using the internet, just as we do with every other aspect of life, we have to take precautions to stay safe.
Whether you are a sole trader in Saint Asaph, or a small business in Llangrannog, or a micro business in Nantyglo, the chances are that you are using the internet in some way to conduct your business. It might be that you have a Point-of-Sale machine connected to your Wi-Fi, you may be using an online accounting package, or marketing your business using social media. Many businesses have their own websites which they also use to conduct ecommerce through.
What do all of these have in common? They are all vulnerable if you are using a weak password security. The Cyber Resilience Centre for Wales recommends that you take the following steps:
1. Make sure you switch on password protection and use a strong password. Don’t use an easy to guess password but follow the UK Government advise of using three random words. At the moment I can see a screen, a painting and a stereo, so if I was coming up with a password I might use scrEEnpa!ntingstere0. Just to allay any fears, I won’t be using that one now I’ve shared it!
2. Use two factor authentication (2FA) for ‘important’ accounts. This means that you’re using two methods to prove your identity before you can access the account. This could be a password and then a code generated from an authenticator app.
3. Consider using a password manager to avoid ‘password overload’. A password manager is a tool that can create and store passwords via a ‘master’ password. But make sure you have a particularly strong ‘master’ password.
4. Change all default passwords. It’s a common mistake to leave the manufacturer’s default passwords that smartphones, laptops, and other types of equipment are issued with. These default passwords are often available on the internet and are a major contributing factor to large-scale compromises of home routers for example.
This World Wide Web Day enjoy the benefits and fantastic achievements that have been made as a result of Sir Tim Berners-Lee’s proposal three decades ago. Yet, take time to think about some of the risks that come with this. We want you to carry on your business safely and by taking simple steps you can make yourself far more resilient to a cyber-attack.
To speak to a member of our team about our membership options and services please visit www.wcrcentre.co.uk/contact-us to contact us and someone will be in touch.